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Fakes and forgeries that fooled the experts

Dave Mathias | The Denver Post | Getty Images

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Fakes and Forgeries That Fooled the Experts

There's a lot of risk involved in passing off a fake or a forgery. If you're found out, your reputation can be irreparably damaged, or you could face prison. But people engage in the enterprise nonetheless, for artistic acceptance, ego gratification or for pure profit.

The terms "fake" and "forgery" are sometimes thought to mean the same thing, but there's a difference. A fake is an existing object that's been tampered with to create the illusion of greater value, and a forgery is an object fabricated in a familiar style to give the illusion of authenticity. But if you've paid a lot of money for something that's not what you thought it was, what's the difference?

The expert is the one thing standing between the fabricator and the victim. Experts will look at an intended purchase and verify its authenticity, thereby preventing a buyer from getting fleeced. But even experts get fooled, and when that happens, credibility earned through decades of hard work can be lost forever.

What follows is CNBC.com's list of 10 fakes and forgeries that fooled the experts. Read ahead and see what they are.

By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 8 March 2012

Dave Mathias | The Denver Post | Getty Images